Traits of lizards of the world: Variation around a successful evolutionary design

Shai Meiri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Motivation: over the last 12 years I have been collecting trait and geographic data on lizards. These data could be useful for scientists studying this remarkable reptilian radiation. Furthermore, as published data for some of the less well known species are scarce, I hope this study can initiate a community effort to fill in data gaps. I present geographical, morphological, ecological, physiological and life history data for the 6,657 known species of lizards. I further indicate whether there are phylogenetic data associated with them, and their threat assessment, if they have one. I present descriptive statistics regarding these traits and point to avenues for future research using the dataset. Main types of variable contained: body size, ecological, thermal biology, geographic, phylogenetic and life history data. Spatial location: Global. Time period: data are for species known from living, or recently extinct species. Most underlying data were collected during the 20th and 21st centuries. Major taxa: Reptilia, Sauria (Squamata, including Amphisbaenia but excluding Serpentes). Level of measurement: species. Software format: csv.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1168-1172
Number of pages5
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Sauria
  • distribution
  • ecology
  • life history
  • morphology
  • natural history
  • thermal biology
  • traits


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